- Before you plan your European vacation, it’s worth checking out which countries are the most dangerous and why.
- The US State Department ranks countries as Levels 1 through 4, from least dangerous to most dangerous.
- Twelve European countries are ranked Level 2, and the agency recommends American visitors exercise increased caution when visiting them.
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Europe may include some of the most popular travel destinations for Americans, but the US State Department advises that several countries on the continent may require extra caution for those looking to vacation abroad.
The State Department uses four levels of travel guidance to offer Americans advice, set boundaries, and describe the risks of each country:
Level 1 – Exercise normal precautions
Level 2 – Exercise increased caution
Level 3 – Reconsider travel
Level 4 – Do not travel
Eleven European countries are ranked Level 2, but apart from regions in Russia designated as Level 4, there are no countries the State Department warns against visiting altogether.
Elsewhere, there are several countries in Africa, Latin America, South America, and the Middle East ranked Levels 3 and 4. These include Venezuela, multiple regions in Mexico, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea.
Here are the travel advisories for every country in Europe, ranked from most to least risky based on the State Department’s designation levels.
Germany – Level 2: Exercise increased caution
The US State Department warns American travelers that terrorist groups may "continue plotting possible attacks" in Germany.
Since October 2015, there have been 13 significant incidents regarding terrorism in Germany. These include a high-profile December 2016 attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, when a lorry struck and killed 12 and injured 48. Earlier that year, during one July week, a teenager hacked at train passengers with an axe and knife in Wuerzburg, and a bomb detonated outside a bar in Ansbach, injuring 15 people.
Italy – Level 2: Exercise increased caution
Flickr / John Fowler
The US State Department advises caution in Italy due to potential terrorist attacks that may target popular tourist locations and both public and private spaces.
In 2018, a right-wing extremist terrorist seriously wounded six African immigrants in a drive-by shooting in Macerata. In 2016, Italian authorities arrested suspects in connection with a plot to attack the Vatican and Israeli Embassy in Rome on behalf of the Islamic State. The attack was never carried out.
Spain – Level 2: Exercise increased caution
The US State Department warns US citizens that terrorist groups may continue to plot attacks in Spain and asks tourists to exercise increased caution.
In August 2017, a jihadist terror attack in Barcelona resulted in 15 deaths. A van driven into pedestrian street La Rambla killed 13 and injured at least 130 others, including one person who died of injuries later. The attacker killed another person in order to steal the victim’s car for escape. Later that day, a van operated by men believed to be part of the same terrorist cell drove into pedestrians in Cambriis, killing one and injuring six others. All attackers were killed by police.
- The 29 riskiest countries for Americans to travel to
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